UFC Las Vegas Odds: Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/29/2023

The time has come and the Main Event for UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas is finally here. Two top-10 fighters will square off to determine who makes their next move in the Bantamweight (135 lb) Division. No. 8-ranked Song Yadong of China will do battle against USA’s Ricky Simon. Both men are on a path to the top, but only one will come out victorious. Check out our UFC odds series for our Song-Simon prediction and pick.

Song Yadong is 19-7-1 as a mixed martial artist and has gone an impressive 8-2-1 since joining the UFC. Song began his UFC stint with four consecutive wins, including a huge decision win over Marlon Vera. After losing a bout to Kyler Phillips, Song reeled off three more wins against top-level competition. He’s coming into this fight off a loss to Cory Sandhagen in which he didn’t lose much stock and instead showed how tough of an opponent he is. He’ll look to leap farther up the rankings by knocking off a potential contender in Simon. Song stands 5’8″ and has a 67-inch reach.

Ricky Simon is 20-3 as a professional fighter and has also gone 8-2 inside the UFC since earning a contract on DWCS in 2017. After back-to-back losses against Urijah Faber and Rob Font early in his career, Simon has gone on to win his last five consecutive fights heading into this matchup. In his last fight, Simon took out a rising prospect in Jack Shore with an arm-triangle choke and established himself as the next deserving contender. A win over Song would immediately see him jump up the rankings. Simon stands 5’6″ with a 70-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

UFC Las Vegas Odds: Song Yadong-Ricky Simon Odds

Song Yadong: +104

Ricky Simon: -128

Over (4.5) rounds: +104

Under (4.5) rounds: -132

How to Watch Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon


Stream: ESPN App

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT (Main Card)

Why Song Yadong Will Win

At this point of his career, Song Yadong is already one of the most exciting fighters inside the UFC’s deepest division in Bantamweight. His hallmark performance was his decision win over Marlon Vera in one of the closest fights you’ll ever see. Since then, Song has disposed of fighters like Casey Kenney, Julio Arce, and Marlon Moraes on his way to the top of the rankings. He fights with an extremely effective muay thai striking style. All of his punches are very crisp and thrown with great precision. He’s hardly over-extending on his shots and snaps them perfectly to ensure optimal damage on his opponents. He was holding his own against Cory Sandhagen in his last fight, but was unfortunately derailed due to cut above his eye. Sandhagen attests to Song being the toughest fighter he’s had to face.

While his striking will be highly superior in this one, we’ve seen Song struggle with his takedown defense in the past. Simon is a chain-wrestler, so it should have been a focus for Song’s camp to work on his wrestling and jiu jitsu ahead of this one. He’s coached by Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male, who took him under their wing and have been molding him into an absolute beast. Faber actually defeated Simon during his fighting days, so he’ll be sure to give Song all the keys to winning this fight. If Song can stay disciplined and stuff a few guaranteed takedown attempts, he should be able to win this fight behind his striking.

Why Ricky Simon Will Win

Ricky Simon has been able to evolve his game slightly each time out and has been reaping the rewards ever since. He’s a highly aggressive striker with a very low stance. While he’s light on his feet, he’ll blitz his opponents with a ton of explosiveness and reel off big combinations in the process. He has a lot of power in his hands and is generally stronger than most of the other fighters in the division. It serves him well since Simon comes from a wrestling background. He has a tremendous gas tank and will relentlessly seek the takedown if he feels as though it can be his path to victory. On the ground, Simon has great top pressure and can transition into advantageous wrestling positions. If he can get his opponent pinned under him, Simon will land devastating ground-and-pound shots.

To win this fight, Simon should play into his strengths and utilize his superior wrestling. While he’ll be the longer fighter here, he may have trouble closing the distance against Song’s precise striking. Look for Simon to feel this one out on the feet before shooting for an eventual takedown. We’ve seen fighters like Merab Dvalishvili have success against strikers like Marlon Vera through their wrestling, so look for Simon to have a similar game plan. If he finds success with the takedowns early, this fight could majorly be spent on the ground and in Simon’s favor. If he can get his takedowns before Song lands his own shots, Simon will win the fight and make it six straight wins.

Final Song Yadong-Ricky Simon Prediction & Pick

This is going to be a great fight and the odds makers have made it close to a pick ’em. Both fighters are in the same boat as far as wins/losses go, but getting a victory here would certainly propel the winner forward significantly. The key here will be whether Song can open up his striking or if Ricky Simon dominates with his wrestling. From the prediction, let’s take Song to get the win here as the underdog. He’s faced the better competition and will have a solid game plan with his camp ahead of this one. Look for Song to surprise a lot of people with his defensive wrestling as he continues to add new wrinkles to his game. Simon will be dangerous throughout, so this will make for an awesome Main Event fight.

Final Song Yadong-Ricky Simon Prediction & Pick: Song Yadong (+104)

The post UFC Las Vegas Odds: Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/29/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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